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Contagious
and Infectious
Diseases


Lincoln Republican, March 23, 1893

To whom it may concern:

Whereas, Scarlet fever is getting to be quite prevalent in Lincoln and vicinity and a malignant type of diphtheria has been present in a portion of the county, it is deemed advisable to call public attention to the state laws and rules adopted by the State Board of Health of this state.

The statutes of the state of Kansas confer upon the State Board of Health full authority to adopt all possible measure for the prevention and restriction of contagious and infectious diseases, and in conformity to the power so granted the State Board of Health has promulgated the following rules to which special attention is called.

Rule XI. Whenever any householder shall know that any member of his family is taken sick or has died of smallpox, scarlet fever, diphtheria, ITAL or any other disease dangerous to the public health ITAL he shall immediately ITAL give notice thereof to the nearest board of health or health officerITAL, placing the case at once in charge of a physician, and placarding the house as prescribed in the following rule.

Rule XII. Whenever any physician shall know, or have reason to believe that any person whom he is called to visit, or any person sick within his knowledge, without the care of a physician, is infected with, or has died of, smallpox, scarlet fever, diphtheria or any other disease dangerous to public health, he shall immediately give notice thereof to the nearest board of health or health officer; and if the case occurs in his own practice, shall at once cause a red or yellow cloth or card, not less than 12 inches square, with the name of the disease written or printed thereon, in large characters, to be fastened upon the front door or other conspicuous part of the building in which the sickness prevails; such cloth or card to be maintained during the existence of the disease, and until such time as the health officers, or in his absence the attending physician, acting by his authority and approval, is satisfied, that the premises have been thoroughly disinfected, and are fit for reoccupation.

Rule XIII. Any local board of health or health officer, having the knowledge of the existence of any case of contagious or infectious disease; or of a death from such disease, within their jurisdiction, shall immediately exercise and maintain a supervision over such case or cases, curing their continuance, seeing that the provisions of these rules and of the duties of local boards of health and health officers in such cases, as to isolation, restriction of communication, placarding etc., shall be duly fulfilled. The health officer shall communicate without delay, such information as to existing conditions as he possesses to the state board of health. He will confer personally, if practicable, otherwise by letter, with the physician in attendance upon the case, as to its future management and control, and with the authorities of the place as to their duties in the premises. Should the disease show to become epidemic, the public and private schools must be closed, and in extreme cases, church services suspended, and public assemblages of people at shows, circuses, theaters, fairs or other gatherings prohibited. In case of small-pox, a general and thorough vaccination should be recommended and insisted upon.

Rule XIV. All persons sick with small-pox, scarlet fever, diphtheria or other contagious or infectious disease shall be thoroughly isolated from the public not less than the average period set forth in the following table. Four hundred feet is suggested as the minimum distance for the thorough isolation of small-pox.

Rule IV. Members of any household in which small pox, diphtheria, scarlet fever or measles exist shall be required to abstain from attending places of public amusement, worship or education, and as far as possible, from visiting other private houses. No person recovering from such disease shall be permitted to appear on the public streets or highway, or in any public place until all danger from contagion is past.

Rule XVI. In the event of death from any such disease, the clothing in which the body is attired should be sprinkled with thymol water, the body wrapped in a disinfectant cerecloth (a sheet thoroughly soaked in the ITAL zinc disinfectant, double strengthITAL), and placed in an airtight coffin, ITAL which is to remain in the sick room until removal for burial. ITAL No public funeral must be allowed either at the house or church, and no more persons should be permitted to go to the cemetery than are necessary to inter the corpse.

Especial attention is called to Rule XV, as it appears to be totally disregarded, and for which disregard the doctors are very largely responsible.

It appears necessary to correct a serious mistake that is common in this community. It is the opinion that scarlatina and scarlet fever are different diseases, and I am informed that a Lincoln physician asserts that the former is not contagious but that the latter is. It is charitable to attribute such a statement to ignorance, but it is none the less misleading and disastrous in its effect as no precautions whatever are adopted where a case is pronounces scarlatina. As a matter of fact scarlatina, scarlet fever and scarlet rash are different names for the same disease and no matter which of the names your physician may apply to the disease.

The above rules from XI to XVI govern the case and interested parties must be governed by them. In cases of scarlet fever isolation is required for six to eight weeks from date of rash.

Physicians can be supplied with all necessary blanks by application to the undersigned.

Henry M. Hall, M.D.
County Health Officer
Lincoln, Kan., March 21, 1893


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